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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Physics and Astronomy
Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences

The ‘Mid-Course’ Review of the Astronomy & Astrophysics Decadal Survey




Review of Progress in Astronomy and Astrophysics Toward the Decadal Vision: Letter Report

Released February 2005

In the past few years, programmatic changes at NASA, issues raised by the NRC report, Connecting Quarks with the Cosmos: Eleven Science Questions for the New Century(CQC), and scientific and technological advances combined to prompt consideration of a reexamination of the overall science strategy set forth in Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium (AANM). Discussions followed between the Board on Physics and Astronomy and NASA and NSF that resulted in a request by the two agencies to prepare a short report addressing the points leading up to calls for the reexamination. The report was also to assess progress towards the vision set forth in the AANM and CQC studies. This letter report presents the result of that study. It reviews the context that led up to the request and the most exciting advances in astronomy and astrophysics and key technological developments since the AAMN report was published, and it provides an outlook for fulfilling the decadal vision of the two previous studies.


Committee Members and NRC Staff

C. Megan Urry, Chair, Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics
Lars Bildsten, University of California, Santa Barbara
Roger D. Blandford, Stanford University
John Carlstrom, The University of Chicago
Neal J. Evans II, The University of Texas
Jacqueline Hewitt, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Craig James Hogan, University of Washington
John Huchra, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Christopher McKee, University of California, Berkeley
Anneila Sargent, California Institute of Technology
Sara Seager, Carnegie Institution of Washington
Charles E. Woodward, University of Minnesota

NRC Staff

Donald C. Shapero, Director,
Board on Physics and Astronomy
Joseph K. Alexander, Director, Space Studies Board
Brian D. Dewhurst, Program Associate
Pamela A. Lewis, Project Associate
David B. Lang, Research Assistant